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Arsenal 2 Getting Started with Holy Grail Timelapse
Arsenal 2 Getting Started with Holy Grail Timelapse

Set custom ranges on Arsenal 2 to maintain smooth transitions in your timelapses. Perfect for day-to-night or night-to-day timelapses, capturing scenes with flowing water, street traffic, cloud movements, and more.

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Written by Arsenal
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Holy Grail Timelapse

This is the function that pro photographers have been seeking for some time.

Arsenal 2’s Holy Grail mode uses our auto-exposure model to adjust exposure settings within the ranges and priorities you define. This is the best method to use for shooting sunrise and sunset timelapses.

Before shooting a timelapse, always make sure that:

  • Camera is powered on.

  • Arsenal 2 is powered on.

  • Camera is connected via USB cable to Arsenal 2.

  • Camera is set to Manual Mode.


Holy Grail Mode allows you to control how you want settings to change over time using range sliders for Shutter, Aperture, and ISO. You can define the ranges for Arsenal 2 to stay within when shooting the timelapse. Be sure to set the ranges large enough to handle any lighting changes that might happen during your timelapse. You can adjust ranges while your timelapse is running and Arsenal 2 will adjust settings over the next 20 frames to maintain your requested ranges. You can even start your timelapse, then disconnect from Arsenal 2 through the app, and it will continue shooting and making adjustments until the specified number of shots has been met. This means you don't have to worry about being out of range away from Arsenal 2 while shooting a timelapse.

Prioritizing Settings

There are circumstances when you may want to adjust the settings in a different order. We have added a feature so you can prioritize which settings are adjusted first while the timelapse is progressing. To arrange the settings in a different order, click Prioritize on the middle right of the timelapse screen. Use the side handles that appear to move setting ranges up and down within the priority list. Arsenal 2 always moves within the ranges in a top to bottom hierarchy as they appear in the app. You can even reprioritize these settings while shooting a timelapse and Arsenal 2 will adjust accordingly.

Example: You are shooting a day-to-night Holy Grail timelapse and you would like to keep your noise levels as low as possible for as long as possible. Making ISO the lowest setting on the priority list would make Arsenal 2 make changes to and hit the limits of the shutter speed and aperture setting ranges before beginning to adjust the ISO range.

PRO TIP: You are shooting a holy grail timelapse and want your aperture to remain fixed at f2.8. You can drag both of the setting limit buttons together at f2.8 to lock the value there. If you do this with any setting, it doesn’t matter where the setting is in the priority list because Arsenal 2 won’t adjust that slider at all...

To start shooting a Holy Grail timelapse:

1. Switch to the Timelapse screen

Open the Arsenal 2 app and swipe the mode slider at the very bottom of the screen to Timelapse. Click on Custom and select Holy Grail.

2. Enable Live View

To enable live view, tap the eye-shaped icon in the upper right corner of the app. Your camera’s live view will appear in the app. While timelapse is shooting, you will see a preview of the timelapse in the live view screen. You can hit the play button to preview the video.

3. Compose Your Shot

Place your camera and tripod to compose your shot. When getting started, we recommend having a subject in the foreground so you can test Arsenal 2’s various features.

4. Tap to Focus

To select a focus point, simply tap on the live view image. A target will show the point you selected, and turn green once focused.

5. Set your Camera’s settings

Use the sliders to set the limits of your EV, (S) Shutter speed, (F) Aperture, and ISO ranges. These can be adjusted as you shoot the timelapse.

6. Start and stop your timelapse

To start your timelapse, tap the shutter button once. Arsenal 2 will shoot until you tell it to stop or it reaches the maximum number of shots you set. To stop the timelapse, tap the shutter button in the app again.

7. Share or Save your Timelapse

Once you’ve ended your timelapse, tap the thumbnail in the lower right corner to view the finished timelapse video. To share or save the timelapse video, tap the share icon in the lower-left corner of the screen and choose where you’d like to share or save the video. You can view the rest of the gallery images and the individual shots captured to create your timelapse by clicking on the Gallery icon in the upper right corner of this same image review screen.

To save your timelapses to your phone automatically, navigate to the Settings screen and click “MANAGE” under the PHOTO STORAGE section and select if you’d like to have Arsenal 2 automatically save the final timelapse videos to your phone, Arsenal 2’s internal Micro SD card, or both. You can also have Arsenal 2 save the individual images used to create the timelapse to your phone, Arsenal 2’s internal Micro SD card or both.

We recommend checking your saving options prior to shooting to ensure your timelapse is saved to the onboard Micro SD card and/or your phone, as the timelapse preview that Arsenal 2 creates is only saved to the device in temp storage until you adjust your preferences in the settings menu.

Note: Arsenal 2 will always try to use the darkest setting possible to maintain proper exposure. It will select the shortest possible shutter, the smallest aperture number, and the lowest possible ISO.

Advanced Options

Keep mirror up between shots: Due to mechanical limitations of the camera, after the mirror has moved, the aperture doesn’t always return to the exact same diameter. This causes some flicker in timelapses. Keeping the mirror up during the timelapse prevents this flicker, but can use 2x to 3x more camera battery power. (DSLRs use power when holding the mirror up). Flicker can be corrected in post-production if you prefer not to use this option.

Shorten shutter to keep interval: When shutter speed, card write time, and photo processing time passes the selected interval, Arsenal 2 can decrease the shutter speed in Holy Grail to keep the interval from taking longer than selected.

Note: If you plan on shooting an extended timelapse of more than a couple of hours we recommend attaching a power bank or battery pack to Arsenal 2 to ensure it continues shooting throughout.

Check out this in-depth video for best shooting practices for timelapse with Arsenal 2!

Still have questions? Our friendly support team is always happy to help!

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